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- Sep 30, 2004
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- Mountains of Southern Colorado
By Mike Triplett/Times-Picayune
NFL teams are smart enough to know that the success of Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco was an anomaly last year.
They are the only two quarterbacks since the merger in 1970 who started as rookies and took their teams from last place in their division to the playoffs.
"That's a tough act to follow right there," Saints Coach Sean Payton said of Ryan, who was drafted third overall by the Atlanta Falcons last year, and Flacco, who was drafted 18th by the Baltimore Ravens. "I mean, shoot, Peyton Manning was a starter his first year, and they got beat up and he got beat up -- and they lost a lot of games (13)."
Nevertheless, the allure of finding that type of quarterback, whether he takes one or two or five years to develop, always will prove irresistible to franchises that need a leader behind center.
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